Sunday, July 30, 2023

What we can do

Spending time with children is incredibly cheering.

We had a Refugee Hospitality Day yesterday and it did me so much good watching the children play swingball and make giant bubbles for the first time, and launch enthusiastically into painting trinket boxes in rainbow colours. 

Dave trying out bubble-making before the day

It was such a happy day, with all our visitors, young and old, enjoying Bakewell and responding with smiles to our warm welcome, and everything we had to offer.

When the coach arrived to take them back, it took an age to persuade them that it really was time to go

(I can’t show you photographs of our guests for confidentiality reasons.)

We do our best to make the day special, by providing interesting things to do and to make, and a lovely lunch and afternoon tea. My favourite bit of the preparations before they arrive is picking flowers from the garden and arranging them in posies in jam jars for the lunch tables.

The charity that supports our guests are making a difference by helping them on a day to day basis, in a town 27 miles from Bakewell. We can’t offer that kind of support on account of distance, but we can give them a day in lovely Bakewell, a brief time away from their worries and uncertainty, and away from their often substandard accommodation.

More than that, we can show them despite what the government and the tabloids say, there are many, many people in this country who wish them well and want to welcome them to a country that is safer than the one they left.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well have to understand,

that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching...

extract from Home by Warsan Shire

If you follow the blue link you can hear the poet Warsan Shire reading the whole poem on Youtube.

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